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Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

In Brief: Thirteen photos from an autumn hike through Cypress Wells Canyon, passing an abandoned village and Great Wall on the way to the end.

Our hike to Cypress Wells Canyon follows easy trails through a forested valley and up to a pass before descending through a scenic canyon.

We started off walking through a canyon, where we saw interesting rock formations and peaks that rose above the valley.

Coming out of the other end of the canyon we walked into an abandoned village, empty of people for a long time now. We stopped for a lunch break in the village and had a little look around the old houses and fields, half expecting the previous residents to show up!

After lunch we headed on, following a dirt trail through a pine forest, eventually arriving at a pass topped by a line of very old Great Wall. The wall here is in no condition to hike on top, so we just ventured a short way up to take a look at a tower that was added on during the Ming Dynasty.

We then hiked back through the forest to find the narrow trail that would take us to the end of the hike. We walked out through a rocky and very scenic cleft in the cliffs – quite steep in some places, and slippery where it wasn't steep.

As we got down lower the trail began to open up, and we made our way out to the nearest road to find our bus.

We followed an old dirt road into Cypress Wells Canyon - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

We followed an old dirt road into Cypress Wells Canyon.

The road took us into an abandoned village - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

The road took us into an abandoned village.

No one has lived here a long time, making this a nice quiet place for a lunch break. A little bit spooky, though! - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

No one has lived here a long time, making this a nice quiet place for a lunch break. A little bit spooky, though!

Some of the houses are still in good condition, as if just waiting for their owners to come back - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

Some of the houses are still in good condition, as if just waiting for their owners to come back.

After investigating the village we hiked through a pine forest - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

After investigating the village we hiked through a pine forest.

Sunlight filtering through the forest canopy makes a pleasant sight - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

Sunlight filtered through the forest canopy.

On the other side of the pine forest is a big cliff, topped by a ruined section of the Great Wall - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

On the other side of the pine forest is a big cliff, topped by a ruined section of the Great Wall.

There are nice views of the surrounding hills from the top of this tower, one of just a few left in this area - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

There are nice views of the surrounding hills from the top of this tower, one of just a few left in this area.

The old Great Wall continues along the top of the cliff. This is the outer line of wall that runs north of Beijing, one line of mountains further out than the Badaling Great Wall - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

The old Great Wall continues along the top of the cliff. This is the outer line of wall that runs north of Beijing, one line of mountains further out than the Badaling Great Wall.

Originally built from rocks and stones, the Great Wall here is all tumbled down - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

Originally built from rocks and stones, the Great Wall here is all tumbled down.

We finished the hike by walking out down a scenic canyon - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

We finished the hike by walking out down a scenic canyon.

The path crosses rock fall debris at the base of a cliff - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

The path crosses rock fall debris at the base of a cliff.

A view of the cliffs not far from the end of the hike - Cypress Wells Canyon hike, 2014/11/09

A view of the cliffs not far from the end of the hike.

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